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About CISM

History of CISM 

CISM was founded on 18 April 1948 in Nice, France by five nations - Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. CISM was created while these five founding nations were meeting in Nice at a fencing event. Although they were all European countries, the five founding nations had a more global project in mind. This desire among the military to meet in sports arenas instead of battlegrounds was not new in 1948. Indeed, just after the First World War in 1919, General John Pershing established the Allied Forces Sports Council and organised the 1st Inter Allied Games in France. These games involved 18 nations representing five continents. 1500 athletes competed in 24 different sports in front of a large audience in Joinville in the Paris suburbs. 

Following the Second World War in May 1946, the Allied Forces Sports Council was revived by Colonel Debrus and Major Mollet, who were among the founding fathers of CISM. The 2nd Inter Allied Games were held in Berlin in 1946, however, only athletics was organised at these games. Unfortunately, because of political discord, the Allied Forces Sports Council was disbanded in 1947. However, the idea was rekindled the following year with the founding of CISM and the rise of a global vision. Since its founding in 1948, CISM's universality became increasingly real, developed as it was by the Presidents and Secretaries General who led the organisation over the years. In 1950, Argentina and Egypt joined the - by then - nine European countries. In 1951 the USA joined, followed in 1952 by Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Syria. Over the years, membership has progressed at a steady pace. The political turmoil at the end of the 80's and more specifically the fall of the Berlin Wall gave renewed impetus to CISM's expansion. In the space of just four years (1991-1995), 31 new member countries joined CISM. Such rapid progress led to recognition by international institutions such as the IOC and more recently by the UN. 

The CAF in CISM 

The CAF joined CISM in 1985 and has been involved in this unique international military organization through participation in CISM activities at all levels, including attending numerous World Military Championships (WMC) and attending all editions of the Military World Games (MWG). Canada has also hosted numerous events, including MWCs in a wide variety of sports and meetings, such as the Board of Directors. Additionally, the CAF has been involved in the leadership of CISM, from representation on various sport committees and other commissions, to membership on the Board of Directors and as Vice President for the Americas. The current CAF teams that compete at CISM competitions includes: basketball (men’s and women’s), fencing, golf, running, sailing, shooting, soccer (men’s and women’s), swimming, taekwondo, triathlon, and volleyball (men’s and women’s). 

From our participation in sport championships, to the provision of assistance and leadership, the CAF and Canada has a very strong reputation within CISM and with its membership.  As a result, the CAF is highly sought for the hosting of events or in the attendance of high level working groups and activities.  Following Canada’s leadership role, we have also been very active in implementing new initiatives for the organization.  When considering Women in CISM, in 1993 Canada became the first country to include women’s categories while hosting in the sport of taekwondo. Canada also had the first female sports committee president (sailing) and hosted the first Women in CISM week in Kingston, Ontario in 2008.